Bloc Coding Bootcamp: The First 4 Months

Today is exactly 4 months from when I started the part time web developer track at Bloc, so what was the first four months like?

I signed up about a week or so before my start date, I used that lead up time to do some free coding tutorials to make sure I wasn’t crazy and this is what I actually wanted to do.

Once the bootcamp started I chose a mentor and got acquainted with their setup. In the first week I was introduced to HTML, CSS, the command line, Git and Github. I was on the shorter 27 week track but slowed down to the 57 week track so I would have time to absorb the information and keep my sanity as I’m also working full time.

From there it has been a roller coaster of being stuck, of not being able to figure something out and feeling like “I suck at this, what the hell was I thinking” to that special moment of hitting refresh and seeing my work come together and then feeling like “I AM THE MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE!!!!”. That process is surprisingly addicting.

As I’ve gained more experience I’ve become more patient, accepting where I’m stuck and taking the time to take a step back to look at it differently or completely stepping away for a break so I can come back with a fresh mind.

One of the hardest parts for me is wrapping my head around the idea that looking up answers on the internet IS the right way, it’s hard to let go of the idea of that being “cheating”. I don’t have to memorize every bit of code and recall it all from memory. I can use the information available to me and trust that as I gain more experience with it I’ll recall more information but with how quickly things update and change, I’ll always have to look things up.

The other struggle has been not yet knowing what exactly I want to be doing when I complete the bootcamp. Being new to web development, I’m not sure if I want to focus on the front end or the back end. The way this bootcamp is designed you’re exposed to both then spend the final third of the course specializing, so I know I’ll figure it out along the way.

One of the best parts of the bootcamp so far has been working with a mentor. I couldn’t imagine going through this process without a mentor, someone to turn to when I’ve spent hours trying to figure something out or am questioning whether or not this process actually makes me job ready at the end. His experience in coding and especially in guiding other students through the bootcamp has been an invaluable resource.

So far in the first four months I’ve been introduced to command line, Git, GitHub, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery and most recently AngularJS. I feel comfortable with command line, Git, GitHub, JavaScript and am loving AngularJS. I’m entering into an Angular project that isn’t guided, more self sustained than the guided modules I’ve done so far. After that I’ll begin Module 3: Backend Foundations.